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NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Montreal



(Saturday, April 11th)

Final Score: Pittsburgh 3, Montreal 1

Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves, as the Pittsburgh Penguins took a 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens to finish up the regular season for both squads at the Bell Centre.

Maxime Talbot, Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin each had a goal for the Penguins (45-28-9), who closed out their regular season with three straight victories.

With the win, Pittsburgh will now face Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs. What remains to be seen, though, is which team will have home-ice advantage. Both squads have 99 points on the season, but Philadelphia has one game left, which will take place on Sunday when the Flyers host the New York Rangers. Should the Flyers get at least one point, they will have the fourth seed and home ice; however, if Philadelphia is beaten in regulation, the Penguins, who will at that point have more wins than the Flyers, will take the fourth spot.

"I'll follow the score, but that's about it," said Fleury about the Philadelphia game. "I don't want to think about it too much. Tomorrow is a day off and we relax and get back at it on Monday."

Malkin will win the Art Ross trophy as the leading scorer in the league, as he had 35 goals and 78 assists on the season, three points ahead of Washington's Alex Ovechkin.

Roman Hamrlik had the lone goal while Carey Price made 38 saves for the Canadiens (41-30-11), who dropped their last four games of the regular season.

With the loss, Montreal will have the eighth seed in the playoffs and will face the top-seeded Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. Additionally, the loss gives the New York Rangers the seventh seed, and they will play the Southeast Division champion Washington Capitals.

"We're going to take a day to rest ourselves and rest our minds," said Price. "It's now a new season. Everything starts over again. I've got some experience against them in the playoffs. They are a good team. Their big and they bang and have a pretty good mix of players. It's going to be a big challenge for us."

With the score tied in the third, the Pens scored two shorthanded goals separated by just 55 seconds.

Montreal held the puck in the Pittsburgh end, but an errant pass resulted in the puck going out of the zone. Pascal Dupuis caught up with the puck and raced down the other end on a 2-on-1 break and sent a pass from the right side, just out of reach of the defender over to the left side for the easy tap-in from Talbot for a 2-1 lead with 10:14 to play.

On the same Montreal power play, Letang was allowed to gain the zone, and, from outside the left circle, he blasted a shot that beat Price cleanly for a 3-1 advantage.

The Penguins jumped in front just 1:09 into the game, as Sergei Gonchar threw a shot on net from the high slot that was stopped, but Malkin was there to slam home the rebound.

Pittsburgh almost took a 2-0 lead on a shorthanded break with 4:26 to play in the first that saw Talbot bang the puck out of mid-air into the net, but he hit it in with a high stick, and, after a replay, it was disallowed.

Montreal then tied the game with 2:31 left in the first, as Hamrlik threw a shot on net from the left point that hit off of Hal Gill in front and got past Fleury.

Neither team scored in the second period, but that was in large part due to Price, who stopped 17 shots in the frame.

His best saves came in the final two minutes when he made a beautiful diving stop on a Matt Cooke one-timer from the right side off a 2-on-1 break and in the waning moments of the frame when he stopped a Bill Guerin one-timer.

Game Notes

These teams split the season series for the third straight year...Neither team scored on the power play with Pittsburgh having four chances and Montreal three.

04/11 22:44:34 ET

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